With area livestock farmers struggling because of alfalfa losses, Republican State Representatives Mike Benson of Rochester, Greg Davids, Steve Drazkowski and GOP State Senators Carla Nelson of Rochester and Jeremy Miller have contacted officials in Washington in hopes that they will help provide area farmers needed assistance.
Through a combination of winter kill, a wet spring and the lingering effects of previous droughts, livestock farmers are dealing with severe alfalfa losses around the state, especially in southeastern Minnesota. By replanting on these damaged acres now they will not be able to harvest needed alfalfa on their land until next year.
Davids says the winter kill of alfalfa has left farmers wondering where feed for their livestock will be coming from this year, and that's unacceptable. Miller notes it's crucial that a way is found to allow livestock producers to grow the forages they need in order to remain viable.
The option area state lawmakers are pushing for would remove the seeding and/or harvest dates for planting cover crops on prevented planted acres. This could happen through a declaration by the USDA.
The lawmakers recently sent a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging him to issue the declaration.